LOOK! Another book!----->
Let us turn our attention to 1 Samuel. More precisely, let us turn to Tim Chester’s 1 Samuel for You, published by The Good Book Company. As with the other books in the “For You” series, we experience a durable hardcover, short sections, and a handy glossary at the end.
These standard features alone are almost enough to grab this volume. Let’s look at a few more, though, and move forward from there. First, Chester follows typical form and provides a hint of background information on 1 Samuel, but moves past that quickly. Remember, this is a practical/devotional commentary, not a technical/historical one. The focus here is on drawing application from the text, not on analyzing the last jot and tittle.
Second, I like Chester’s work at drawing connections within the body of 1 Samuel. For instance, I had not seen the parallels between Saul/Ahijah and Phinehas. These little connections pop up in the book, and highlight the major theme Chester sees: the divide between redemption in God’s plan and destruction in man’s plan.
Third, I’m a fan of the short sections for easy reading. I’m not a fan of very few citations in the text for reference, but that’s my preference for nerd-info slipping out. Layout-wise, I would like the map at the front and not the back, so you know for certain it’s there and to reference it easily.
In summary, Chester takes the text as it is, which is refreshing. Rather than hashing out textual variance issues in 1 Samuel or getting lost in editorial emendations, we just deal with what is already there.
If you want to look at the application issues of the historical books, 1 Samuel for You is a great place to start. It’s so much “for you” that Chester’s included extra “u”s in many words, like armour and colour, just to make the point. (OK, so he’s British and spells like it.)
I did receive a free copy of this from The GoodBook Company and Cross-Focused Reviews. No influence or money changed hands.